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Water crisis takes glitz off Masvingo suburb

Clipsham suburb has some houses perched on a mountain top while others overlook  a majestic eastern view of the country's oldest city.

Residents of Masvingo's newest and arguably the most affluent suburb are facing critical water shortages, taking the glitz off the area.

Clipsham suburb has some houses perched on a mountain top while others overlook  a majestic eastern view of the country's oldest city.

But for all that, residents face water shortages.

This publication has it on good authority that, at best, water is available once a week in the suburb, but it can go for up to two weeks without taps running.

Some property owners, who invested in the area after the construction of the Tokwe Murkosi Dam, and the proposed Runde -Tende Dam have now put up their houses for sale.

“Masvingo's water is inadequate and residents of that area are, just like others in our town, under a water rationing regime,” Masvingo town clerk Edward Mukaratirwa said in an interview.

“It is not them alone and all are not adequately supplied because water is a problem in our town.

"We are rationing water and that is not the only issue.”

Masvingo Rural District Council chief executive officer Martin Mubviro said their arrangement with Masvingo Municipality was standing and that the local authority would provide water and related services.

“There is nothing wrong with our arrangement and all should be in order, ” he said in a brief interview.

But some residents of the suburb accused the municipality of failing to deliver on its mandate.

“We have no water and refuse collection is irregular,” a resident, who identified himself as Moyo said.

“We have put up modern houses, which add the value to our town but we are being short-changed.

“It's difficult to buy the story of water shortages when our town is fed by the second largest inland dam in Zimbabwe being Mutirikwi Dam.

“Mutirikwi overflowed last season and it's levels are at the very best such that water shortage can only result from inefficiency.”

Clipsham was established through an arrangement between the Masvingo Rural District Council and the Investment Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

There are more than 200 housing units in Clipsham where residents also complain of unkempt open spaces and poor general maintenance.

A resident in Clipsham said a number of house owners were considering selling their properties because of the water shortages.

“This suburb was a new hope in the town and it's modern even when you look at the houses,” he said.

“People who invested here poured substantial amounts which the local authority is making a mockery of by failure to dispense water.

“The construction of Tokwe Mukosi Dam and the proposed Runde-Tende Dam are economic game- changers in the province which attracted people in various business lines.

“These home owners had properties in Clipsham just 90 kilometres from Tokwe-Mukosi on a good road to Beitbridge.

“The municipality may not appreciate that growth, but it was there.”

Tokwe-Mukosi is the largest inland dam in Zimbabwe.

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